Skip to comments.Obamacare Canít Be the GOPís 2014 Silver Bullet
Posted on 03/06/2014 7:50:31 AM PST by SeekAndFind
We completed our most recent monthly McLaughlinOnline.com National Survey on February 13. In that poll of 1,000 likely voters, President Obama had a net negative job approval: 44 percent of voters approve and 54 percent disapprove. In almost all our recent polls since the Obamacare websites crash-and-burn rollout, the presidents job rating is usually identical to the level of voter disapproval for Obamacare.
Many Republican strategists now see this as a parallel dynamic similar to what the Iraq War issue did in 2006 to President Bushs job approval, costing the Republicans their Senate and House majorities. That year, Democrats for the House got 54 percent of the national vote. Heres what the 2006 national media post-election survey showed:
42 percent approved of the Iraq War and 56 percent disapproved.
If you disapproved of the war in Iraq, you voted for Democrats for Congress 8018.
If you disapproved of the job President Bush was doing, you voted for Democrats for Congress 8216.
The Democrats 2006 strategy was simple: Drive up the disapproval of the Iraq War, which drove up President Bushs disapproval, which drove up the vote for Democrats for Congress.
In theory, that same kind of strategy with Obamacare should expand the Republicans House majority and win the Senate this November.
Thats what Mitt Romneys campaign thought, in theory, about the economy, that it would be a silver-bullet issue to the exclusion of security and other issues. It didnt work.
It seems to be that the same kind of groupthink of Obamacare as a silver-bullet issue is dominating Republican strategists in 2014. Because of Obamacares woes, then, we wish the election were tomorrow, but its not.
With months to go this strategy seems too one dimensional. It severely underestimates the incumbent presidents and the Senate majoritys power to reset the agenda even as late as October.
Heres the real problem: As mentioned, in our recently completed February national poll President Obama had a 54 percent disapproval rating, but the generic ballot for Congress was only tied at 41 percent for Republicans and 41 percent for Democrats. Eighteen percent were undecided.
Among the undecideds for Congress, only 28 percent approve the job the president is doing, and 66 percent disapprove. In theory, by opposing President Obama, the Republicans have another twelve points available to them getting them to as much as 53 percent of the national vote for Congress.
However, heres a problem with the theory: In our poll 20 percent of all voters nationally disapprove of Obama but do not yet say theyll vote to elect Republicans to Congress. These voters will decide the November election.
Among those who disapprove of Obama but arent planning to vote GOP, fully 36 percent are still voting for a Democrat for Congress. The other 64 percent remain undecided.
In other words, opposition to Obama is not a silver bullet strategy.
So the Republican strategic class has some fundamental questions to ask: Who are these key swing voters? Why arent they voting for Republicans? How do Republicans persuade them to vote for them in November?
Here are some insights from our national poll about these Obama disapprovers who arent voting Republican:
They dont identify as Republicans. Only 7 percent are Republicans. Sixty percent are independents, but a full 30 percent are Democrats.
Theyre mostly not conservatives: Only 23 percent call themselves conservatives. A full 27 percent are liberals, and 51 percent are moderates.
They are more likely to be working class: The mean annual household income of voters in our poll was $60,000 in the swing group annual household income drops to $53,000. About half make less than $40,000 a year.
They are not, for the most part, the Christian Protestant vote that decides most Republican primaries. Twenty-nine percent are Catholics, 3 percent are Jewish, and 15 percent Atheist/agnostic. Of the 45 percent that are Protestants, only 46 percent are Evangelical Christians, adding up to only one-fifth of the total.
They are mostly white: 83 percent are white, 10 percent Hispanic, 5 percent African-American, and 2 percent Asian.
Theyre younger than the mean voter: Only 12 percent are seniors and 20 percent are under 30 years old and 67 percent are under 55.
Fifty-seven percent of them are women.
On the issues, most may disapprove of Obamacare, but they dont seem to know where Republicans are on other issues and may agree with Democrats on some important ones. The Republicans need to set a broader issue agenda, in other words, to win them over. Our findings on the issues (some of them from our January poll for our client the YG Network):
The majority strongly supports the idea, when asked, of cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent to create jobs.
They dont seem to like welfare expansion: 5627, they say that they agree that Obama has massively expanded the welfare state.
74 percent favored raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, but only 34 percent said that it would make their lives better.
62 percent said that it was more important to create economic growth to produce new jobs and pay raises for middle-class families than to raise the minimum wage.
66 percent thought that the states, not the federal government, should set the minimum wage.
63 percent said they preferred policies focused on economic growth rather than income inequality (33 percent preferred the latter).
It may be the same thinkers who told Mitt Romney to run only on the economy who are telling us that Obamacare is a silver bullet and thats all Republicans need. They blew it in 2012, dropping points on Benghazi, national security, and even the response to Hurricane Sandy. According to the RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Romney lost in the very last week.
Without a doubt, Republicans need to keep driving up the presidents disapproval by citing Obamacares failures, but they also need to do the same on his economic failures and even national-security issues (e.g., terrorism, the possibility of a nuclear Iran, defense cuts, and now the situation in Ukraine).
November is months away, but its likely that the Republicans need several bullets to win this election.
John McLaughlin and Jim McLaughlin are Republican strategists and partners in the national polling firm McLaughlin & Associates.
Whats the matter with a friggen’ tax break?
IMHO, conservatives need to convey the message that they are not simply naysayers and obstructionists, but that we have good ideas and specific plans that will work in all areas for (almost) everybody.
The message must be simple and consistent, with a unifying theme that appeals to the majority.
“Freedom” works for me.
Grandma, the daughter of your highschool basketball coach, and the man your wife buys her hearing aids from didn’t all die from cut off medical care with those other things. Right there at home where they could talk about it. Not far away in a foreign land.
Dozens of other people you know weren’t also seriously affected even though they didn’t die.
It’s pretty damned stupid not to immediately recognize that there is no rational parallel.
You’ve pointed out the “entitlement army”
They are a difficult foe....
But what’s the point of showing just income taxes?
The democrats have torn the country apart, dividing it into a dozen groups to get their votes. Why won't the republicans speak for the taxpayers?
Should be Obama & Reid’s lawless actions and incompetence.
Not the number or “fact of” his exec actions, but the lawlessness of the content.
His 30 dictatorial revisions to Congressionally enacted Obamacare.
His failure in economic and foreign policy.
His failure in Benghazi.
His abuse of the IRS to target his political opponents.
His villinization of the Energy industry.
Thanks for the many factoids!
Win BIG this fall and then IMPEACH & Prosecute
The Democrats are going to say that they will fix Obamacare while the Republicans will repeal it, leaving you (the voter) high and dry. At the best, Obama will veto the repeal and there will be no fix coming. Vote for us because we’ll stick it to the fat cat Republicans and make them pay their fair share.
I don’t know that it’ll work but with the press 99% behind them, they’ve a chance. Remember, the divisions in the Republican Party will cause a lot of conservatives to stay home especially if the elite win the primaries like in the Texas primary.
'lol!' ping. First, Mitt's campaign did squat in fighting anything of the 0bama agenda, much less 0bamacare. He had one good initial debate and then went into rope-a-dope mode and lost because of it.
To say nothing of what a flawed candidate he was. Repeal of 0bamacare and instituting fiscal sanity once again is a "silver-bullet issue"!
Can you say "Tipping Point"? I am John Galt!
I have said it before and I will say it again. All in against Obamacare is a HUGE mistake. It just isn’t that unpopular and very few want it repealed. There are many good issues with which to Hammer the Dims. I’m not saying Obamacare should be ignored. Of course not. But, standing alone this is a loser. Yeah, we’ll probably hold the House and stand a 60-40 chance of picking up the Senate, but that has MUCH more to do with where the Senate races are held and Gerrymandering than it does with some wholesale hatred of Obamacare.
But. Hey. The GOP doesn’t pay me to run anything. All I know is they have been screwing up elections for awhile now and that theyare aiding America’s lurch Left.
EXACTLY! But ... they won’t do it. We don’t even do it here. Being against Obama is not the same as being against EVERYTHING Obama supports regardless. The latter will not work. But, hey. When we are sitting here in 2016 with Hildabeast in the White House, Obamacare rolling along, Dems controlling the House and the Dims with a 61 seat majority in the Senate maybe it will be apparent.
How about "incompetency" as the unifying theme? Obama and his people give multiple examples every day. The Republicans could pound on this theme from multiple fronts with Obamacare acting as the crown jewel in the strategy.
I think the IRS hearings have potential to be dynamite if Issa can get a break. When this first came out, I heard a group of my colleagues who are hard-core Obama supporters express concern that their man (or his people) might have played dirty political tricks with the IRS. I was clear from their discussion that if proven they were ready to abandon Obama (a couple even said so and no one walked them back from the ledge). These people are politically misguided but generally not hypocritical and the actions were too Nixonian in their eyes to be tolerated. If Obama and his administration get tied to this, he'd lose a significant part of his base.
20 percent of all voters nationally disapprove of Obama but do not yet say theyll vote to elect Republicans to Congress.
Talk about a need to clean out the voting pool.
How about “incompetency” as the unifying theme? Obama and his people give multiple examples every day. The Republicans could pound on this theme from multiple fronts with Obamacare acting as the crown jewel in the strategy.
While true, such a theme would only frame us as bitter losers, IMHO. The message needs to be one to attract voters to us, not simply repel voters from them. Big difference.
You can pull on a rope, but you can’t push on it.
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